This was after Rob won at the Open. Johnny is the little guy on stage with everyone… I wonder what it’s like to be Johnny Romano…
We made it home last night — without incident! WOO HOO! We all miss PoPo though…
I will pick up where I left off on the last post. Okay, so M-F was Disney and part of the US Open. Saturday and Sunday were the last two days of the Open and it was amazing.
Friday we hung out with Mike L. and Timmy and the Machado family. It was great because Rob and Patau (his wife) have two little girls, a two year old and a four year old. Sophie and the girls got along very well. It was the first time Sophie was able to play with someone her age in a LONG, LONG time. Saturday and Sunday the girls played while we watched the competition, every once in a while the big kids toured the booths to see some action and get free stuff, but it was so packed with people and
H O T, it was hard to really enjoy (for me).
During the heats Mike L. competed against Rob a few times, and they both progressed and ended up competing against each other during the semi-finals. It was crazy. I asked Johnny who he was rooting for and his response was, “I just hope they catch some good waves and have fun”. In the paper the next day they dubbed Mike L. “the Cinderella Story” of the competition, and Rob the “Tiger Woods of surfing”. Rob won the Open (of course), and we were lucky enough to be in the stands with Patau and their kids when he won. Patau is very petite, but man she has a set of lungs on her. She was so happy when Rob won, she was yelling and screaming — I heard her over the rest of the 105,000+ people that day. You could see the pride in her face. I was so happy for them. Patau told Johnny that he was Rob’s good luck charm and that made Johnny feel really good. Mike asked if they needed us to follow them to Europe for good luck too…
After all of the excitement slowed down, the crowd pretty much thinned out upstairs where we were watching from. Patau invited us to come with them to the awards ceremony. We thought we would be able to watch from a good vantage point, but had no idea we would actually be on stage with them. As I watched from a very close distance, I couldn’t help be get all choked up. For so many reasons. That all of us were able to be here to see the competition, Johnny made it this far, and to watch Johnny’s favorite surfer win, was truly amazing. Johnny’s original Wish from Make a Wish was to watch Rob compete in the Pipeline Master’s on Oahu’s North Shore. But due to Johnny’s treatment, we had to move his Wish to February, and of course no competitions were happening at that time. So this was like his Wish, only a few months late and in his favorite place on Earth.
Anyway, during Rob’s acceptance speech, he could have asked any number of people to stand with him; his wife, his kids, his manager, his best friend, but he asked Johnny. He told everyone that Johnny was with Make A Wish and what a cool kid he was. Of course I lost it. Bad. Joey tried to console me, but it didn’t help, I cried like a baby. Johnny got to hold Rob’s trophy and stand next to him on stage. It was amazing. Incredible. I was speechless yet again (yes, really, me! it’s true! ask anyone…).
The crowd around Mike and Johnny afterwards was HUGE, I couldn’t even get close to them for a long time. I just hung out and tried to control my crying spurts. It was so overwhelming. Later after the crowd died down, Patau invited us to join them for dinner, of course we all wanted to go. But Johnny was just too tired. Plus we had plans with PoPo for dinner, we didn’t want to stand him up.
So that was our weekend. I still can’t believe it. Rob and Patau welcomed us with open arms, the kids played together and Johnny’s Wish is complete. And I got to watch all of it. It was amazing.